Skills Assessment Tool with collaborative Leverage

by EPICA  Initiative

Skills, photo by Branko Stancevic

In an increasingly fast-paced ecosystem, employability constitute several variables that make a candidate standout – a diverse amalgamation of creativity, communication and entrepreneurial skills; all these are becoming more and more important for businesses looking to hire. Companies no longer seeks out one-dimensional employees who have ‘tunnel’ expertise/skills. Rather, companies are on a quest to make their monies go further and are proactively on the hunt for dynamic individuals who can perform a host of tasks – people who are adaptable and can add value to their companies, in essence reduce their overheads by having someone who can complete multiple tasks. ‘In a race against machines’, the pressure on employees to be the all-in-one package is one that demands candidates continuously seek out solutions to supplement their capability. A demand that more often than not, falls short due to a lack of direction in actionable tools – one that consistently tracks an individual’s knowledge and, provides feedback on objective timelines for personal development. Demonstrable skills and knowledge important to employers must be documented and verifiable. For this, the ePortfolio is invaluable in highlighting skills that a person has obtained through their work, official recognitions and certifications which allows them to not only envisage their progress but to have firm validation of the skills they have. For students, the choice to concentrate on specific themes/areas deemed weak through the ePortfolio assessment feedback, means they can focus their energy on strengthening those area.

The power of the ePortfolio in presenting a complete overview of an individual’s capacity and skills acquired in both formal and informal education will enable comprehensive assessment for progressive preparation employment. This “digitised collection of artefacts including demonstrations, resources, and accomplishment that represent an individual” (Lorenzo & Ittelson, 2005), can be focused on obtaining particular skills for employability that a student deems essential to their growth.

Devised to be a student-centered approach to learning, EPICA’s ePortfolio (developed by MYDocumenta)  comes with a fundamental feature that allows continued access to the ePortfolio, (separated from the academic environment) as a personal tool for personal purposes to improve employability and work position, consisting of all contents, evaluations, recommendations, etc. EPICA’s ePortfolio will utilise open badges which can be exported and visualised in many online environments, that offer a good guarantee and reliability due to a traceability feature; one that details information about its issues – particularly by whom, when, and based on what results.

The scope of utilising the ePortfolio in assessing users, particularly as a tool for employability means, students can mix and match their skills to particular Jobs. They are at liberty to decide the competences and evidences that potential employers can access or view.

Evidently, an objective of this initiative is to ultimately enhance the quality of learning outcomes and ensure students are fully equipped with the skills needed in the job market. The empowerment that comes with the ability to monitor learning processes, ability to visualise strengths and weaknesses and having readily available tools to overcome those weaknesses provides a profound level of self-confidence and awareness that are required in the job market. Primarily, ePortfolios have been shown to be sustainable, continuous and evidenced-based assessment that allows users to connect implicit knowledge with constructed knowledge. By providing a tool that allows users to reflect and (re)structure their learning, it enables them to own their learning objective with the view that, their success is dependent on their active usage and proactivity.